The Bruins hosted the Caps tonight and beat them 5-1, handing the chickenshit Caps their worst loss of the season. The win proved costly for Boston as Brandon Carlo exited the game late in the 1st period after taking a cheap shot from all world scumbag Tom Wilson, (more on that later).
Jaro Halak got the start as the only changes up front were Charlie Coyle back in and Sean Kuraly getting the night off. Jake DeBrusk (apparently somehow rewarded for his shit game on Wednesday?) was back with David Krecji and Nick Ritchie while Coyle rode with Craig Smith and Trent Frederic. The 4th line was Jack Studnicka centering Anders Bjork and Chris Wagner while the Erection Line stayed rigid.
From the opening face-off the Bruins were dialed in with more pace and commitment to defense like they showed in the last NY game. Quick ups and outlet passes were made more effective with the forwards coming back consistently throughout the game. The zone time favored the Caps as they outshot the Bruins 12-6 in the period, but most of the pressure was on the perimeter. When the Caps did work the puck inside Halak was sharp; on his angles and squared up to face the shooter. The Erection Line got it going with 5 minutes left in the opening frame when Marchy finished off a Bergy feed for his 11th of the year. Bergy corralled the puck at the left face-off circle and while fending off the defender with his right hand, he pushed the puck to Marchy in the slot on his backhand. Marchand gathered the puck and went forehand-backhand-shelf and the Bruins were off and running.
Late in the first Brandon Carlo went back to the right corner to get the puck, and as he turned up ice, that fucking puke Wilson came in high and put his shoulder/forearm across Carlos’ temple dropping him to the ice and ultimately knocking him out of the game. As Bruce Cassidy said in his post game comments “It was a predatory hit targeting the head on a defenseless player from someone who’s done that before”, sounds like another sussy for Wilson. I will point out that these are the same refs that handed Ovi a 2 minute minor for his attempted castration of Frederic the last game, so it was no surprise when they didn’t call Wilson at all. There’s been a rule change in the NHL that you can call a major and then get together as a unit (both refs and both linesman) and decide to enforce the major or wipe it out. These geniuses chose a different route and their inaction, defined the play as a clean hit. In the postgame Marchand pointed out how you can call offsides by a millimeter, but the NHL won’t look at plays like this? How about a call from the Toronto bat-phone saying it was a penalty? Judge for yourselves:
Allow me a quick digression regarding that other scumbag Ovechkin: The NHL stepped in and fined him $5K for spearing Frederic. It was pointed out to me by The Morning Skate’s very own capologist Ked, that Ovi makes $9,538,462 per season. This season is 56 games which is equal to 3360 on ice minutes. That means that Ovi makes $2838.83 per minute TOI or $47.31 per second TOI. He’ll pay off that fine in about 1:45 TOI, what a joke.
Prior to the start of the 2nd, Bergeron went over to talk with Wilson and Ovechkin while they stretched. Based on the replay they showed on the NESN feed, it didn’t go well and all I could think of was the bar scene with the bikers in Bronx Tale : Now you’se can’t leave.
At the14 minute mark, freshly acquired Jarred Tinordi stepped in with Wilson and stepped up for Carlo. I’m calling the fight for Tinordi, but I also watch these games through Black and Gold glasses. Either way it went, the fight galvanized the boys and they blew it open after the tilly. First it was Freddie from McAvoy to make it 2-0. Beauty off a pass from Chuckie at the right point, Freddie had his stick blade opened up to redirect the puck past Vanecek for what proved to be the game winner. The play was set up by Grzelcyk picking off a lazy Ovechkin pass in the neutral zone as Grz was feeling it tonight and looked much more comfortable than he did last game. The Erection Line got theirs with Marchy finding Pasta at the right post who then bumped it back to Bergy trailing the play in the slot, 3-0 good guys. After his goal, Bergeron skated over to the box and gave props to Tinordi through the glass. That’s fucking leadership! Tinordi got the boys going and Bergy wanted him to know it. With 5 minutes left in the period, Grz walked down the right wing and from the dot found Marchy at the far post for the easy tap in. That was it for Vanacek as he yieded to Samsanov for the duration. In case you lost track during all the excitement, that’s 3 goals for the Bruins while Wilson was sitting in the box.
The game was already over when Krecji found Ritchie early in the 3rd standing at the blue paint with some wicked backhand sauce to make it 5-0. Almost immediately after the goal, Freddie went with Wilson (it looked like Tinordi was going to get in there, but Freddie boxed him out). I’ll give this one to Wilson, but it did no damage as Freddie popped up and kept yapping. Wait until the fans are back, they are going to love this kid! Vrana got one late in the period to spoil Halak’s goose, but a solid effort from the Black and Gold as they rallied around their fallen defenseman.
If I can get up on a soapbox for a moment: there will always be a need for tough guys and fighting in the NHL if guys like Wilson (or Hathaway or Dillon) are allowed to run around and hurt other players. Ask any of the Golden Knights how much they love Reavo. His presence keeps them safer on the ice. You don’t think Wilson realized that Kevan Miller and Jeremy Lauzon were out of the lineup? Stick tap to Tinordi for stepping in at that moment. I’m sure Wilson wasn’t expecting what he got. I also think Wilson, (like most of the Caps: see my blog about last game) is a dumb selfish player. If he’s supposed to be a difference maker, and his numbers support this argument, he can’t be opening himself up to suspensions. This doesn’t help his team as I’m guessing he’s looking at a 3 game minimum.
- Full team response led by Tinordi’s tilt.
- Secondary scoring – each of the top 3 lines wound up on the scoresheet
- Halak bounce back game. I woulda thought he tossed that mask, but he got the W.
- Power play goes 0 for 2. Granted Grz and Krecji just got back, but needs to be better. Barely got set up in the offensive zone tonight
- Probably (hopefully not) missing Carlo for some time. With Miller and Lauzon already out, the deep D corp is getting shallow
- Jake DeBrusk on the PK??? What the actual fuck
- Don’t know how I missed this, but I did. Pasta was named the NHL star of the month for February for posting a stat line of 9g-8a-17pts in 11GP. Is that good?
- After potting 2 tonight, Marchy finds himself at 8th in the NHL in points
- Gotta wonder what Chara thought of Wilson’s play. Chara’s always held himself to a high standard and played with honor. That’s in short supply in the Caps’ room these days. As coach always says “fucking embarrassing”